July 20 2010 at 06:20PM Get IOL on your
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Sasol will end its lead sponsorship of Springbok rugby at the end of 2010, company spokeswoman Jacqui O'Sullivan said on Tuesday.
Protracted negotiations had taken place between the two parties but mutually agreeable terms, on which to renew the contract, could not be confirmed, she said.
The six-year, R150 million lead sponsor deal with SA rugby was signed in November 2004.
The sponsorship includes the national Springbok team as well as the Springbok Sevens, the "A" team and the U-20 Springboks.
"We're very proud of our association with the Springboks and had certainly hoped our significantly increased offer would have found traction with the union," Sasol senior group executive Lean Strauss said in a statement.
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Sasol said it had balanced current market conditions with the iconic brand value of the team when renegotiating.
Strauss said he respected SA Rugby's decision to consider alternate sponsorship options.
Sasol would ensure the team received the company's full sponsorship support until the agreement ends in December 2010.
The Springboks had lost their last two Tri-nations matches against New Zealand rugby team, the All Blacks. - Sapa